Acupuncture is an old, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practice where a trained and certified acupuncturists insert tiny, hair-thin needles into your skin in various pressure points around your body.
The practice of doing so helps with a malady of issues. It can help with everything from skin issues to digestion to stress.
Acupuncturists see your issue (whether it’s digestive problems or acne) as symptoms to a larger problem. This allows your licensed practitioner to see your entire body and all its systems as working together. When one gets out of balance, your body’s flow and energy gets disrupted, showing up as a headache, stress, indigestions, etc.
It can also show itself as anxiety, depression, and panic attacks.
How Acupuncture Affects Mental Health
Placing the tiny acupuncture needles into specific pressure points around the body causes you to release serotonin and release an increase of other hormones like endorphins. The release of these extra hormones and endorphins are the same hormones that anxiety and depression medication produce.
Instead of taking medication, acupuncture prompts your body to release these hormones naturally, on their own.
There have been many studies showing a positive relationship between acupuncture and mental health. In 2015 a study was conducted where participants suffering from anxiety received 30-minute acupuncture sessions. Nearly all participants had significantly reduced their anxiety, and many still felt positive results several months after their last session.
In several other clinical studies, those receiving acupuncture for anxiety, depression and panic attacks all showed remarkable immediate and long-term effects.
What Are the Side Effects
Unlike traditional prescription medication, acupuncture poses very little risk for adverse side effects.
Side effects from acupuncture can include:
- Itching at the area of treatment
- Bleeding or bruising from needlepoint
These side effects often dissipate within a few hours of acupuncture treatment. And these are often less of a risk than side effects of prescription medications.
The use of acupuncture to treat mental health issues has been steadily on the rise over the last decade, now often being covered by many insurances. If you are looking to treat the underlying causes of depression, anxiety, and panic attacks and help your body heal itself—acupuncture is for you. If you are ready to start a treatment plan or learn more about your options, contact us today.